You may have heard of the phrase "let sleeping dogs lie", but there's no way in hell the same sentiment applies to elephants, at least not in the puzzling problems of Snoring 2: Wild West anyhow. You may have encountered many varieties of puzzle game in your time: tile puzzles, toppling puzzles, crosswords, mouse-only, and point-and-click are just a few flavours of brain teaser the flash-powered gaming world has to offer. Perhaps the most popular and for many the most entertaining is the physics puzzle genre, and Snoring 2: Wild West is one such game that promises to deliver a fairly unique perspective on how one utilises artificially reproduced laws of physics for an entertaining end, and using a sleeping elephant to do so.
So instead of letting sleeping dogs lie, the gameplay of Snoring 2: Wild West involves not letting sleeping elephants lie as the potential points you can win for the completion of the level diminish rapidly before your eyes. The game's format is classic physics puzzle through and through: you've got a series of levels that require you to solve a physics-based problem (or more accurately in this case a sleeping elephant problem that must be solved by utilising the game's simulated laws of physics) as quickly as possible, rewarding you the number of points that still remain at the point of solving. It's essentially a puzzle game that rewards you more points the quicker you solve its conundrums - classic physics as I said before, but it's not all strictly traditional.
The denominator that is common to all of the slightly more memorable flash games out there is that their unique appeal exists within in the variables that they offer; Snoring 2: Wild West has its wide array of animals to shake things up and help it deviate from the fairly textbook framework of the physics puzzle genre.
In order to solve any physics puzzle you must utilise the on-screen objects, and it just so happens that the particular objects in Snoring 2: Wild West aren't objects at all, but rather different farm animals with a variety of properties that allow each of them to be utilised in conjunction with each other therefore providing a clever solution for each puzzle. It's all about manipulation of variables: Red Remover Blast has its coloured shapes; Angry Birds has its irritated avian creatures; Snoring 2 has its farm animals, and there's plenty of them to solve the puzzles with. In this case, the animals involve behave in different ways when clicked or interacted with by other animals, creating scenarios unique to this game and forcing you to think in fairly unique terms.
If you want to wake the elephant up in each and every level you'll need to learn the functions of each of the animals. This is made easier by the first few introductory levels, which act as de facto tutorials that introduce you to the properties of each of the animals. Owls can only drop vertically once they are clicked for example, meaning they are most often the animal that will begin the chain reaction of events that will lead to waking the elephant up. Cows can roll across the screen and can either be clicked or their roll initiated by being bumped by another animal, an owl for example. Zebras on the other hand are made for jumping when clicked, allowing them to access higher areas or bump other animals that cannot otherwise be reached with animals that don't jump.
You'll soon get used to the different functions of each animal and will come to realise that beating each level is simply a case of filling in the gaps of the chain reaction with various animals and their functions. Much of the time you will find yourself having to initiate an animal's unique movement a certain times during the chain reaction in order for it to continue and pass on its physical force to the next link in the chain.
But just how difficult and indeed challenging can a game that's about pushing animals around in the wild west really be? Well, unfortunately, not very difficult at all. This is where the game falls down a little since its appeal with be fairly narrow, mainly appealing to those that won't want to be truly challenged as they would be in games like Red Remover or any other game that's aimed at the more mature audience. Though there are some mildly tricky situations in Snoring 2, there are games out there that have a bit more depth and many more dimensions to their gameplay. Home Sheep Home for example, is a beautiful platform puzzle game that's all about the animals yet has much more depth since it has a storyline and is designed by the talented Aardman Productions. This doesn't mean Snoring 2: Wild West is a bad game, but there are many more puzzlers out there that exceed its mild charms in almost every way.
Bebop Rating: 7.2/10